What is Involved in Pulmonary Function Testing?

doctor showing a lungIf you have a chronic cough, shortness of breath, or other breathing issues, your doctor may suggest pulmonary function testing to measure how well your lungs are working.

In this blog, New York City pulmonologist Dr. Marc X. Bowen of MX Bowen, Physician P.C., Health & Breathing Center explains what’s involved in pulmonary function testing.

What is pulmonary function testing?

Pulmonary function testing – also known as PFT – is non-invasive testing that shows how well your lungs are working. It provides your doctor with information about your lung volume and capacity, as well as the rate of airflow and gas exchange.

If you’ve had a previous PFT, your current values can be compared to your previous test results. If you haven’t had a previous PFT, your results can be compared to the average of someone of your same age, height, sex, and race.

When is it done?

This type of testing can sometimes be performed as part of a routine physical. It can also be performed if you have any of the following symptoms or conditions:

  • Chronic cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Respiratory infection
  • Trouble breathing after an injury or recent surgery
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Chronic lung conditions, including asthma, emphysema, or chronic bronchitis

The test is sometimes used to help make a diagnosis, and it can also be used to measure how effective your treatment is when you’ve already been diagnosed with a respiratory disorder.

What is involved?

One of the main types of PFT is spirometry, which helps your doctor measure how much air you inhale and exhale as well as how quickly you exhale.

The test is performed as you breathe into a handheld device that’s connected to a machine that records the data. It’s a non-invasive test that’s performed in-office, and you can expect results in about 30 minutes.

After your doctor receives your PFT results, he or she can diagnose respiratory disorders that may be present or gauge how well your current treatments are working. In some cases, more testing may be needed.

Where can I get pulmonary function testing performed in NYC?

MXBowen, Physician P.C., Health & Breathing Center offers the latest diagnostic tests and in-office procedures. Dr. Bowen has nearly three decades of experience specializing in pulmonary diseases, critical care medicine, and internal medicine, and his practice is dedicated to providing the highest quality of care along with a highly personalized patient experience.

Pulmonary function testing can be performed in-office, and Dr. Bowen will interpret the results, make a diagnosis and suggest the best possible treatment options.

If you’re experiencing chronic coughing or breathing issues, make an appointment today with MXBowen, Physician P.C., Health & Breathing Center today. We’ll gather the information we need – possibly through pulmonary function testing – to diagnose the cause of your symptoms and get you the treatment you need.

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